What’s in a Word? Plenty When You’re Scott Farrell

Scott Farrell

How would your friends, family and colleagues describe you in just one word?

When I was asked to introduce Scott Farrell at the PRSA Chicago’s annual awards program this week, I decided to enlist others to confirm what I wanted to say about the organization’s 2018 Outstanding Professional of the Year. And I asked them to do so in just one word. Here’s what friends, competitors, family and colleagues had to say about Scott:

Fellow Wisconsin graduate Bridget Coffing’s one-word was no surprise: #Badger

Ketchum’s Bill Zucker used hypens to extend his hashtag to cover both alma mater Wisconsin and the Golin tag line: #Bucky-go-all-in.

Steve Barrett of PRWeek exercised his editorial prerogative by combining two words: #SilverFox

Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky and former boss and good friend Keith Burton stuck to the assignment. In a word:

DePaul PR prof Don Ingle, who often enlists Scott to speak in his classes, chose:

Former Golin CEO Rich Jernstedt: #Indispensable

June Golin simply calls Scott #Great

Hermant Shah, head of Wisconsin’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications, says #Committed best describes Scott. Scott chairs the school’s Board of Visitors and personally mentors both students and faculty.

Scott’s son, Kevin Farrell, says: “Hands down, my dad is #Selfless,” while son Brian chose the word: #Generous

Cathy Farrell had a number of words to describe her husband of 38 1/2 years. She landed on #Driven. Indeed, Scott is driven to do the best for his family, clients, coworkers and colleagues. He gives back to the profession via his work with students, he’s driven by his commitment to Ronald McDonald House and Off the Street Club, and he’s personally driven by his relentless marathon training — already preparing for his 5th Chicago Marathon this October.

When the Golin management team learned of Scott’s award, they lined up to share their own one-word descriptions. See: Scott Salute Video.

Scott Responds — In More Than One Word

When he got his turn at the podium, Scott Farrell reflected on the tight-knit Chicago PR community, noting his affection for Golin, family and friends. Here are some of his acceptance comments:

“What an interesting profession we’ve chosen for ourselves! Interesting times indeed. Technology is compressing time and space at an ever increasing rate. Competition is coming from places we never expected, while we a profession are trying to push our traditional boundaries about who we are and what we do. We work with procurement people almost as much as we do with CMOs or CCOs. And there is no shortage of news and events after which people ask aloud: “Didn’t that guy or woman have a public relations person to provide counsel or guidance?” Heck sometimes it’s even the public relations person in the news who leaves us thinking, “What was he or she thinking about?”

“Still, I don’t know if you agree, but I wouldn’t trade this career for anything. These are the very things that keep things interesting. These are the things that give us reason to, as Al Golin said, fix things before they break and stay curious to stay relevant.

“I want to thank PRSA Chicago for this honor. I want to thank my colleagues at Golin, some of whom are here tonight – Fred, Ellen, Gary, Caroline, Carrie and Dave – for giving me the opportunity to work alongside some of the best and brightest – and most fun – in the business. Finally, I want to thank my wife, Cathy. For 39 years, she has put up with late nights, lost weekends and holidays, long road trips, and many a time when she probably regrets asking, ‘So how did your day go?’ In fact, I think PRSA Chicago should start a new award: PR Spouse of the Year. Now those are people who deserve some recognition!

“And to be able work in this profession in an incredible city like Chicago, at a company like Golin where colleagues, clients and culture create an absolutely unbeatable combination… well who in his right mind would trade that for anything?”

Congratulations, Scott. #WellDeserved

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